To say the financial markets were a bit bumpy in 2018 may be an understatement. The S&P 500 was down 6.2 percent for the year, the first time this key index fell since 2008, during the financial crisis. So what can you anticipate in 2019? And what investment moves should you make?
Let’s review the causes for last year’s market volatility. Generally speaking, uncertainty was a major culprit. Uncertainty about tariffs, uncertainty about the continued trade dispute with China, uncertainty about Brexit – they all combined to make the markets nervous. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates four times, and even though rates remain low by historical standards, the increases caused some concern, as higher borrowing costs can eventually crimp the growth prospects for businesses.
And now that we’re into 2019, these same uncertainties remain, so markets are likely to remain volatile. Although the Fed has indicated it may be more cautious with regard to new rate hikes, there are indications of slower growth ahead, particularly in China, the world’s second-largest economy. And after strong 2018 earnings growth, helped by the corporate tax cuts, corporate earnings may grow more slowly – and, as always, earnings are a key driver of stock prices. Continue reading
In the name of saving us from imagined disasters, three real disasters are about to unfold that will have long term consequences for communities from tiny Corbett to the entire state of Oregon. To no surprise, the disasters will result from the incompetence and greed of those elites who determine our future. The panic over climate change is one driving force, but complete ignorance of science and engineering also plays a large role. And of course, the officials who are leading us over a cliff do not want to listen to any who would provide them wise council.
Even or perhaps especially The Oregonian refuses to listen. Never mind that there is a whole science of ‘Acceptable Risk,’ the people who run our society are either too stupid or too corrupt (or both) to consider the facts. Continue reading
Spring is coming! Early spring is a good time to catch up around the yard. I try to get the following tasks done in February. I also like to get my snow peas planted by Valentine ’s Day. Here are some of my routine spring chores.
A sunny morning is a good time to repaint your tree trunks. I use mis-mixed interior semi-gloss of any light color, and paint from the lowest branches down to ground level. Don’t forget to check that your trees have their weed- whacker protection devices still in place. Look for signs of bug infestations. Weed around your trees and fertilize with a complete mix or some well aged manure. Spread mulch under your trees to retain moisture. Mulch will keep weeds down and it breaks down into the soil to improve soil fertility and tree growth. Continue reading
The sky a furious red and with the air choked with smoke, the front barnyard was filled with horsemen and women frantically trying to load panicked horses into trailers—and to safety—as a huge fire bears down on the horse ranch.
Last November, California experienced some of its deadliest fires—but this is not a story about devastation and loss, rather it is a story with a happy ending. This is also a story about how Steve Rother and Francesca Carsen of Rother’s Horsemanship, Hunter, WA, found themselves in the middle of California’s movie making country—and it’s deadliest fire.
Like all good stories, this one starts at the beginning. As a young man Steve had a passion for horses. Traveling the country to work and study under some the greatest horsemen of the time, he eventually started perfecting his own method of training he calls “Excel With Horses,” which he has been using for the last 20 years to help thousands of horses and riders. Continue reading
Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings released the following statement:
On Tuesday, February 26, at approximately 9:00pm, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s courageous battle with cancer came to a close. Dennis passed away at his home surrounded by family and friends.
From his service in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot to his 30-year legal career and 19 years in public service, this father of nine and grandfather of 31 found great joy in serving and taking care of others.
As Secretary of State, Dennis was fiercely dedicated to accomplishing the work the people of Oregon elected him to do. Upon taking the reins of this office in January 2017, Dennis’ visionary leadership built on the strengths of the 227 Secretary of State staff members. Together, Dennis and this dedicated team of public servants improved the program business practices of Audits, Elections, Archives, Corporations and Small Business, and the three Administrative Services Divisions of the agency. He also brought many professional and personal gifts and experience to this office. Dennis’ focus on transparency, accountability, and integrity coupled with his uncompromising work ethic inspired staff to “up their games” to move mountains.
If you spent time with Dennis, it wouldn’t be long before he shared with you his personal motto of “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus,” which means: Having been given much, what will you give in return? This philosophy influenced every aspect of Dennis’ life and became the hallmark by which many knew him. His challenge to us in the Secretary of State’s office is to give our very best to each other and to Oregon each and every day.
Dennis leaves a legacy of always aiming high, expecting excellence, moving fast, and doing what is right for the people. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such an incredible leader and wonderful friend. He will be greatly missed.
Education Savings Accounts deposit a percentage of the funds that the state would otherwise spend to educate a student in a public school into accounts associated with the student’s family. The family may use the funds to spend on private school tuition or other educational expenses. Funds remaining in the account after expenses may be “rolled over” for use in subsequent years.
Empirical research on private school choice finds evidence that private school choice delivers benefits to participating students—particularly educational attainment. Continue reading
In committing national economic suicide and sending living standards back to 19th century
29-year old ex-bartender and freshman U.S. Representative (D-NY) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received thunderous environmentalist and media acclaim when she introduced her Green New Deal resolution in the House and Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted it in the Senate. It was quickly endorsed or cosponsored by scores of House and Senate Dems, including many who want to run against President Trump in 2020. Continue reading
Most people have no idea where the theory of evolution came from. They think scientists made discoveries that led them to doubt the Bible’s view of origins. But it was the other way round. Men first began to doubt and then dismiss the Bible in the early part of the 19th century. So they needed to find some other explanation for, well, everything. And presto-change-o, Darwin popped out his theory of natural selection in 1859.
But the best in science has always been a problem for the theory of evolution. The First Law of Thermodynamics says that neither energy nor matter can either be created or destroyed. In other words, science says there is no known process inside the cosmos that can explain the presence of matter and energy. The logical, scientific conclusion, then, is that some force outside the cosmos put them there. We know Who that outside force is. Continue reading
Ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland have provided enormous insight into Earth’s climate over the past 800,000 years; in 2017 a deeper ice core may soon provide additional information, dating back 2.7 million years. Ice cores are drilled in areas free of glaciers — meaning that snow has fallen and become compacted century after century. Ice cores reveal clues about past climate periods, specifically implications of global temperatures, combined with atmospheric CO2 and O2 levels (bubbles trapped in the ice).
From these ice cores we know Earth’s climate has been cyclical. Milankovitch cycles, named in honor of the 1920s discoverer, a Serbian physicist/astronomer, comprise Glacial Periods of about 100,000 years interspersed with Interglacial Periods of about 10,000 years; additional warming and cooling episodes occur, inside these two major Periods. What has remained a mystery — is why these cycles occur with relative regularity. Continue reading
Here in the Northwest we’ve had a relatively mild winter. While the eastern two-thirds of our country has been brutally blasted with cold air and snow blizzards from the north, we’ve been spared. We had a short stint of snow, nothing like those other cities, but still enough to wreak havoc for motorists. Typically, the towns further east into the Gorge have it worse, with I-84 often shutting down for days on end, but on the west end, we’re back to rain. Up higher in the mountains, the ski resorts are excited for the February snows that are falling. They promise to bring more skiers, snowboarders, and tubers to the mountains and to their businesses.
One thing you’ve often heard from friends visiting our area from another part of the country is their amazement that we have so many trees and everything seems so green. Continue reading